Student Spotlight: Cassandre Charles


Cassandre Charles, Boston native and arts enthusiast, lights up the Dance Complex with her warmth and love of moving. Anyone who knows Cassandre speaks to her loyalty as a student, work-study, and supporter of the Dance Complex.

After her health declined due to an autoimmune disease, Cassandre adopted dancing as a vehicle to recovery. The work study program at the DC allowed Cassandre to return to work and afford ballet classes. Cassandre uses the Dance Complex both as a rehearsal space, and as an opportunity to explore and improve her own technique.

Where at the DC can you find Cassandre?

Among her favorite classes are ballet with Roseann Ridings and Anna Myer, Modern Connections with Jenny Oliver, movement exploration with Wendy Jehlen, Ethno-Haitian with Jean Appolon, and Modern Jazz Blues with Adrienne Hawkins.

In addition to being a dedicated student, Cassandre utilizes the Dance Complex as a rehearsal space.  As a member of Paradise Lost: A Movement Collective, Cassandre fuses her love of dance with storytelling and improvisation. She also uses the studios to choreograph for her own, heels (!!!) dance fitness classes. Most recently, Cassandre organized and led a book drive in the newly-renovated studio 7 to fundraise for Jean Appolon’s Expressions Dance Company. Working at the DC has also familiarized Cassandre with tech production, and now, she applies her knowledge to her work as a stage manager for theater and dance performances.

Cassandre has, for the past three years, embraced every opportunity to grow as a person and artist. What sparks this love of dance? Cassandre says, “I am surrounded by ‘co-workers’ who live to move”. The inspiring students at the DC, paired with the guidance and thoughtfulness of the instructors, motivates Cassandre to take risks in her own movement.

“Here, [Dance Complex patrons] hear about every kind of dance. Our work-studies, patrons and staff have such vast backgrounds–one is bound to be exposed to new movement”.

Charles says that many of her performance opportunities are a result of networking at the DC, where she has met out-of-state teachers, professional dancers, and arts administrators. She premiered a piece at the Dorchester Art Project, entitled “Body, Spirit, Soul” in which she shares her story–a transformation from sickness and immobility to dance. She says, “my dance-family from the Dance Complex are hugely responsible for my motivation”.

We’re so grateful to have Cassandre as part of our DC community–her spirited energy inspires us all!

Until next time,


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